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This Espresso Martini Is a Refresh on a Classic

For Espresso Martini Day on March 15, our contributor shares the story of the cocktail's origins and a vodka-less recipe featuring Grand Brulot.

Grand Brulot Double Espresso Martini.

Grand Brulot Double Espresso Martini.

For over 40 years, the espresso martini has been a fixture on drink menus around the world, so it’s only natural that it has earned its own national holiday on March 15th. Originating in London at the Soho Brasserie, bartender Dick Bradsell decided to mix vodka with coffee liqueur, sugar and a shot of espresso when a fashion model asked for something to pick her up and get her drunk (in more or less words).

It did the trick and quickly became the beverage of choice on the London club scene. At the time, it was the ideal marriage between the American cocktail culture and the European need for a good caffè in a city that was straying from pub life.

Despite being a pretty straightforward cocktail, it continues to be reinvented time and time again. While most call for vodka, one recipe that leaves the clear stuff out but is every bit worth trying is the Grand Brulot Double Espresso Martini. The smooth coffee cognac combines the finest 80-proof VSOP Cognac with rich Robusta coffee from Ecuador. Not to mention, it is vegan and cream-less but still comes out frothed to perfection (the trick is in the recipe below).

Grand Brulot Espresso Martini.
Grand Brulot Espresso Martini.

The notes of nutmeg, vanilla, and its subtle honey aroma creates the wonderful base for this three-step, three-ingredient version that can easily be made at home or found on menus around the country, including at Miami’s Le Chick or at famed Smith & Wollensky in New York City.

“We strive to produce allure and quality in every bottle of Grand Brulot,” says Francisco Tonarely, co-founder and CEO. “We are proud to have created a brand that’s not only loved by consumers but that bartenders at some of the world’s finest establishments have continued to embrace and use to craft innovative new cocktails or wake up the classics.”

No matter the way it is prepared or in which country, there is one important aspect to never miss that is very Italian – garnishing with three coffee or espresso beans on the top. It’s the signature element to represent health, wealth, and happiness, similar to being served alongside Sambuca in Italy.

Indulge in this fool-proof recipe and make every day Espresso Martini Day in your casa.

Grand Brulot Double Espresso Martini

Grand Brulot Double Espresso Martini

Recipe by Smith u0026amp; Wollensky
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 oz. 2 Grand Brulot

  • 1 oz. 1 Espresso

  • 1/2 oz. 1/2 Amaretto


  • Using a shaker, combine Grand Brulot, coffee and liqueur.
  • Shake (25 times) vigorously with ice and then strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with three cracked coffee beans and an orange twist.

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